Weekly Optimization Showcase: Flip the Bird

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Sorry for the brief delay in getting this up - but there's two this week!

Administratively, I'm doing two different things here. One of the builds (Uberflank) uses the new format. The other (Flip the Bird) uses the old format. Both employ a spacing change fix, but I'm not sure which format is more useful to you as a reader. (Old format has level-by-level commentary interspaced with the build, new one has the build presented in a single place with attached commentary). Let me know which one you prefer and we'll use that on future builds.

Before I start, I'd like to say that it's pure coincidence that we have two Kenku builds this week. They'd make wonderful partners, though - hilariously so, in fact. Go ahead and read the MM3's section on Kenku in Eberron; we discovered how perfectly that fit these builds after we wrote them.

 

As usual for the showcase, these builds are intended to spur discussion and perhaps inspire a few people in the spirit of the old CO boards. They come from members of my gaming group - me, Radical Taoist, DisposableHero_, Andarious, Sionnis, and Seishi - and I'll always identify who wrote the build at the start, so do not assume I'm the guy behind all of them (because I'm not!).


Unless otherwise noted, showcase builds use 28 point-buy, and have their snapshots evaluated using fractional base attack / saves (because it simplifies the math). None of them actually rely on fractional to be built, though. The format I use showcases their progression at key levels rather than just presenting the build and showing off a few tricks at level 20; most of these are capable of being played 1-20 if you so choose.


With that out of the way, let's get started. This week, the first of mine in a long while – although I couldn’t have done this without RT to help get me back in the swing of things.
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FLIP THE BIRD
Everyday I’m shuffling


Required Books: Tome of Battle, Monster Manual 3, Complete Adventurer, Complete Scoundrel, Complete Champion, Races of the Wild, Spell Compendium. (Plenty of optional variants – Cityscape and Dungeonscape – are recommended but not needed)
Unearthed Arcana used: None!


Background: You’ve seen the Heavy Weapons Elf. While we were setting the writeup for that, I happened on the idea of using Evasive Reflexes – a feat that I’ve always found intriguing but never seen put to much use – with AoO generation methods on a character who relies on distance attacks. The basic idea is Defensive Rebuke (which, as the Heavy showed, is usable with ranged weapons): shoot the enemy team from a range from which they can’t retaliate, and each attack they make gives you a 5’ step. The rest of the build just sort of… happened when I was bouncing this idea past RT (although Andarious pointed out a very nice modification to the endgame). It is, in a sense, the bastard lovechild of the Heavy Weapons Elf and the Gnowhere Gnome, with touches of the Evasion Tank on the side.


The name comes from the race choice, as well as the general nature of how you’d play – combining ridiculous evasive techniques (which trigger off of enemy action) with ranged-weapon harrier effects basically adds injury to prodigious insult. A few of the variants were picked expressly for you to make sure that your taunting gestures cross the language barrier.


For bonus points, dress as an 80s rapper, party rocker, or any other crime against fashion while doing this. I dare you to imagine a bird-man in zebra-print parachute pants extending an expressive, feathery middle digit while he sidesteps your attacks with ease.



The Basics



  • Race: Kenku (MM3) is by far the best choice for this build. They’re Medium (helps with melee defense, oddly enough), possess natural claw attacks (so you threaten while holding a ranged weapon), and pack a Dex bonus without a Con penalty; the stealth bonuses are much-appreciated gravy. Oddly, Great Ally isn't a huge selling point for you (as you rarely benefit from flanking), but you do have it. There’s a couple uses for Mimicry here, even though this isn’t a build intended to max out that effect. (If you can’t use kenku, the dynamic changes a bit. Strongheart Halfling is my preferred fallback position – the Small size actually works against you defensively and you’ll need to use an Elvencraft bow, and the easier feat burden really speeds the build up, and the low speed, oddly, is not a drawback here.) If none of those work, Human is tried and proven.

  • Ability Scores: 12/16/12/12/10/12, before racial modifiers (-2 Str, +2 Dex). You’re a total Dexterity bird, so pump and tome that like there’s no tomorrow. Constitution gets second priority. You don’t need Strength at all, but avoid penalties.

  • Alignment: It’s vestigial at this point, but you’re a crusader under all of this, so you can’t be true neutral. Any other alignment works.


Skill Notes: This depends a bit on which variants you use. We found great results by employing Cityscape and Dungeonscape: exchanging Survival for Sense Motive, Ride for Tumble, Handle Animal for Gather Information, and – most importantly – the ranger’s tracking ability for Disable Device turned out to produce impressive results. However, this produces a dungeon specialist character (which we describe below). Without these variants, the skills get harder to work with, but you get a good set of wilderness class skills. It’s a bit of a tradeoff, largely on how effective you are as a trapscout, so choose based on likely environments and trap rates and go with that.


Basic Equipment: A regular ol’ shortbow or longbow does the trick – I prefer shortbow, since you’ll hardly ever need the longbow’s extended range and the smaller size works well in a dungeon, but you make an incredible sniper if you stick to the bigger bow. You won’t need composite bows (Strength 10), and you won’t need much armor (Dex 18 and it only gets better).


Magical Gear Goals: Beyond absolutely maxing out your Dexterity? Any decent bow is a good place to start (flat enhancement bonus is fine); the Raptor Arrows from the MIC can help save a lot on final costs here. The Fleet Warrior’s set (specifically, the sandals and the vest) are absolute godsends to this build. Similarly, you’ll get great mileage out of a Ring of Wizardry I and anything to improve your saving throws (Ring of Evasion, Crystal Mask of Mindarmor, etc.). You also want to get the cheap Demolition and Truedeath weapon crystals – they free up your favored enemy choices. Generally speaking, you don’t actually need speed boosts or much investment in AC, but they don’t hurt.


…Wow, that’s eclectic. You look at that list and you can’t quite tell who you’re buying for. Archer, Scout, Arcane, Rogue, Tank… yep, touched most of the bases right there. And it’s only because Martial Spirit doesn’t work with ranged attacks that we left out “martial adept” and “healer”. Trust me, it’s more streamlined than it seems.



The Build.
Build Stub: Scout 4 / Ranger 11 / Crusader 3 / Sorcerer 2.
Note: If the feat timing looks weird, it’s because we’re using the spell-less ranger in Complete Champion – no spells, but each time a spell level is unlocked you get a bonus feat from a list that depends on your combat style. (They don’t skip prereqs like Combat Style, though.)


1 – Scout 1 – (Skirmish, Trapfinding)(Combat Reflexes)
2 – Scout 2 – (Battle Fortitude +1, Uncanny Dodge)
3 – Ranger 1 – (Favored Enemy, Voice of the City) (Evasive Reflexes)

*
The first of the totally optional variants,Voice of the City replaces Wild Empathy, which we won’t be using without other animal-related abilities. Most notably, Voice allows basic communication across language barriers. Taunts, insults, and, I believe, MC Hammer lyrics are probably simple enough to translate.

Speaking of the venerable rapper, Evasive is online. Oh, how I’ve grown to love this feat, since it completely inverts how you look at the AoO. At the moment you’re largely lacking in infrastructure to trigger it easily, but it’s best to have it online earlier. (If you want you can switch it with Point Blank Shot.) I’ll go into more detail about this feat as the respective components come online.


4 – Scout 3 – (Dungeon Specialist, Go to Ground)
*
Dungeon Specialist swaps your fast movement ability (which won’t matter in the long run, since you don’t rely on your speed to move) in exchange for a hard-to-obtain innate climb speed, along with retaining your Dexterity bonus while climbing. This is almost as good as Up the Walls in some places and is a worthy addition to any dungeoneer.

Go to Ground is a Cityscape replacement, done for style. It replaces Trackless Step (something you can more or less outdo with the right equipment, should it matter) with the ability to hide from Urban Tracking (which is something much, much harder to do). It’s an optional swap, so ditch it if you don’t like it.


5 – Scout 4 – (Woodland Stride) (Swift Hunter)
*
Swift Hunter has entire handbooks written on its use, so I won’t go much into it here. We do splash quite a bit of non-Scout, non-Ranger in this build, but there’s still enough Ranger to get most of the goodies, including 4d6/+4 skirmish and four favored enemies (the second of which is online now).

6 – Ranger 2 – (Archery Style) (Rapid Shot, Point Blank Shot)
*
Point Blank Shot is an ubiquitous prerequisite, and for that I weep. But here’s where your second arrow in a single full attack shows up.

7 – Ranger 3 –
*
This is as close to a dead level as it comes – and even then, you’re getting the second iterative attack (and a boost to Skirmish AC), meaning three attacks with Rapid Shot.

8 – Ranger 4 – (Distracting Attack) (Precise Shot)
*
Not only will your sneak attackers grow to love you, this also increases the relative threat of any melee allies you have in the eyes of your enemies, which works out well for you in the long run. (And with Precise Shot, your team doesn’t need to worry about you hitting them if they engage with your targets). Sadly, Great Ally doesn't improve the bonus you give your allies - if it did, your basic attacks would all be Leading the Attack!

9 – Crusader 1 – (Steely Resolve 5, Furious Counterstrike) (Extra Granted Maneuver) (Defensive Rebuke, Shield Block, Tactical Strike, Mountain Hammer, White Raven Tactics, Bolstering Voice)
*
And here's where it all comes together. You're a pretty straightforward Swift Hunter before this point, but now, you become something unique.

As was illustrated with the Heavy Weapons Elf, several martial maneuvers (typically boosts or stances) are fully usable with ranged weapons.You have two here which are not – Tactical Strike (it’s a thematic match to your movement-out-of-turn theme, but you’ll rarely use it) and Mountain Hammer (used entirely as out-of-combat support, everyone’s favorite Swiss Army Chainsaw is your final fallback if you just can’t pick that annoying lock).


Your swift/immediates include White Raven Tactics, which I’ll largely skip discussing since it’s used conventionally here (of note is your ridiculous Initiative check). Shield Block gives you some cover against particularly annoying melee defense, such as teleporters – strangely, Shield Block can target yourself and doesn’t require a shield to use (unlike its big brother, Shield Counter). Your stance choices are pretty meager and likely to see use only out of battle; of the crusader stances, Bolstering Voice is the only one that appeals at all (and it provides a vital White Raven prerequisite). Sadly, Martial Spirit won’t work with ranged attacks, or else it’d totally be your choice (and your maneuvers would swap Tactical Strike for Douse the Flames).


The signature boost is Defensive Rebuke, and it’s the repeated use of this boost that motivated the Extra Granted Maneuver feat (spam it every 3 rounds instead of every 4, maneuver-granting permitting). You’re usually out of reach when you use it, and you can easily peg the entire enemy team with it (focus on the warriors). Chances are you’re out of their reach, with your own frontline in their face, so they’re forced to attack your allies.


Here’s where your Evasive Reflexes feat comes in. Normally, Defensive Rebuke and other AoO generators are used to encourage your foes to fight you instead of your allies. Here, it’s flipped around: They’re usually only able to attack your allies, so you reap a benefit. In this case, each time your enemies attack your allies, you get a 5’ step. Not only does this give you near-perfect position control (as pretty much only Thicket outright foils a 5’ step; you’ve got Woodland Stride and likely the Sandals of Light Stepping at the moment, so terrain isn’t a factor), it also makes you deadlier. Go ahead and carefully read Skirmish again – once you move, the bonuses activate and remain active for one round (although the bonus damage only applies on your turn). If you’re able to make two 5’ steps out of turn (thank you, Combat Reflexes), Skirmish activates, boosting your AC, and when your turn comes, you can full attack normally.


How’s that for a twist? Instead of looking to generate extra movement on your turn, you simply generate it ­out of turn, and use normal full attacks to benefit from Skirmish. Totally unconventional way of working with the scout.


10 – Crusader 2– (Indomitable Soul) (Thicket of Blades)
*
…Of course, the enemy melee can foil your Defensive Rebuke attacks, assuming you’re still within Skirmish range, simply by rushing you. That’s where Thicket comes in. At the moment you’re lacking the best infrastructure for this, but crusader stance timing is what it is, so you do what you can.

11 – Crusader 3 – (Zealous Surge) (Covering Strike)
*
Covering Strike (or, if you prefer, Covering Fire) is used exactly the same way as it was in the Heavy – you open up battles with it wherever possible, and it locks down anyone you can peg from using AoOs for three rounds. It’s alarmingly useful on archers since you can tag multiple attackers with greater ease than a meleeist can, letting your melee allies slip between them with ease (without the risk of early-battle action denial from trips).

12 – Sorcerer 1 – (Summon Familiar) (Improved Skirmish) (Enlarge Person, Sniper’s Shot)
*
These spells are all the arcane support you’ll need, although your spell slots are kind of low.

Enlarge Person plus kenku claws (or an elvencraft bow) gives you reach in tight quarters, which combines well with Thicket – but not to tie down the enemy. Rather, it buys you an easy escape from any enemy approach, including charges (you just step out of the way) and 5’ steps. You can nimbly cross a tight battlefield unscathed this way, despite being a hulking 8’ tall bird-colossus.


Sniper Shot is used in the opposite scenario – when you’re being carried far away on the wings of Defensive Rebuke + Elusive Reflexes, you will probably push yourself outside of Skirmish range. Not any more – this spell lets you make sneak attacks outside the 30’ range for a round. It doesn’t explicitly mention Skirmish (or sudden strike, or insightful strike, or favored enemy, or…), but precision effects are usually perfectly transferrable anyway, so you won’t have a hard case to make.


Your choice of familiar is up to you, as are your cantrips. I don’t think you should replace the familiar with anything, mind – your base attack is very good, you’ve got great skills, and decent saves, and you can use the extra pair of eyes (note that while kenku get low-light vision, both preferred variant races lack enhanced vision, and all race choices here lack alternate sense modes).


13 – Sorcerer 2 – (Any 1st level spell)
*
The only spell that immediately jumps to mind is Arrow Mind, but that’s more for show than anything else since you’re using your AoOs for other effects. Pick to taste or to match your party; there’s probably an amazing skill-related one I’m forgetting.

We go for another sorc level for the extra spell versatility and the base attack increase, plus the spell slot doesn’t hurt. It also gives you more skill points (a few at least) to put into Bluff, as this is the only class you have with Bluff as a class skill. This is the most transferrable level of the build.


14 – Ranger 5 –
*
Nearly-dead level: +1d6 skirmish and the return of sweet, sweet ranger class skills after five levels of non-expert are a welcome change.

15 – Ranger 6 – (Improved Archery) (Manyshot, Martial Stance) (Press the Advantage)
*
This was Andarious’ breakthrough – now each time an enemy provokes, you can take two 5’ steps instead of one. On top of all the tactical movement this opens up, it allows you to trigger Skirmish off of a single provoke. Its lone drawback is that it eats up your combat stance, so no Thicket here. (Generally you’d use Thicket if you’re in danger of being approached, and use Press if you’re further away.)

If your DM blocks this from working (the only argument for this from the rules is that Press the Advantage uses a colloquial “for the round” in it which doesn’t consider the corner case of Evasive Reflexes), you have a ready alternative: you qualify for Robilar’s Gambit. Skirmish covers for the AC penalty, and while normally you would use this feat to kill the enemy faster, here you use it the way the Evasion Tank does. Anyone who attacks you, hit or miss, in melee or at range, gives you a 5’ step. It won’t foil the first attack, since Robilar’s AoO resolves late, but it shuts down melee full attacks hard and lets you run for cover from distance attacks.


16 – Ranger 7 – (Crowd Walker)
*
This substitution is optional, but since it swaps for Woodland Stride which you already have, it’s cost-free. It does exactly what you’d think it does, which is useful if you’re using crowd rules.

17 – Ranger 8 – (Improved Rapid Shot)
*
Reduces cognitive load and amounts to one feat for +2 to all attack rolls. The bonus feat list from the Complete Champion variant isn’t particularly amazing, but choices like this are good standouts once you’ve got your main infrastructure on the line. Anything to improve the math and simplify high-level gameplay is a good thing.

18 – Ranger 9 – (Spell Reflection) (Woodland Archer)
*
Spell Reflection is an awesome ability from Complete Mage that allows you to go all Jedi and reflect targeted spells that miss you – and look at that, Skirmish improves your touch AC. (Sadly you reflect them at their original attack bonus, and not the insane ranged touch you’d be sporting.) This interesting and difficult-to-obtain ability replaces Evasion, which you can (and probably do) have from a ring at this point, not to mention that rays are deadlier than evasion-compatible effects at this level. Its main drawback is that it takes an immediate action to do so, meaning you can’t use a boost next round. (You also lack Spellcraft to tell when a spell’s worth reflecting or not, but at this level you probably have a telepathic communication system set up with someone who does have the skill.)

I’ve written about Woodland Archer in the past (see the Heavy Weapons Elf), but here the use is more technical. You rely less on Adjust for Range than the Heavy (lacking Mongoose maneuvers or Time Stands Still), but you get better mileage out of Pierce the Foliage, largely due to the See the Unseen skill trick you qualify for, but the Heavy didn’t. (This pairing lets you detect stealthers with ease and bypass their concealment for as long as you keep pegging them). Finally, with respectable stealth skills, you probably can make Moving Sniper see some use – which is a good thing, since I doubt you’d be 5’ stepping your way through snipe scenarios. Sadly sniping takes place in exactly the wrong order for your skirmish ability, but there’s times when it will matter.


19 – Ranger 10
20 – Ranger 11 – (Archery Mastery) (Improved Precise Shot, Blind-Fight)



Snapshot: Take the +6 on Con and Dexterity, +5 Dex tome, Greater Magic Weapon, and no other gear – this is actually slightly more conservative than our standard fare for snapshotting, since we only hit two ability scores. (If you get a third, it’s Charisma, which gives extra spell slots and Will saves, but is somewhat inefficient at either role.) With this, Flip the Bird finishes with 172 hit points, saves of 16/24/9, and a base attack of +18 (ranged +35, with Improved Rapid Shot and Woodland Archer aiding on iterative attacks). You also pack five favored enemies (against whom you bypass fortification – thank you, Swift Hunter) and Skirmish +4d6/+4 (or +6d6/+6 if you move 20’, thank you Improved Skirmish); remember that both skirmish and favored enemy damage applies to each of your five-ish arrows per turn. Your caster level is irrelevant, but you can cast five first-level spells per day by default, which can aid you in escaping dogpiles or in delivering pain at a distance (it removes the range limit on precision damage, so go ahead and have your cake and eat it too with an Evasive Skirmish).


More to the point, you finish with a +12 Dexterity modifier, Combat Reflexes, Evasive Reflexes, and Press the Advantage, along with a few ways of playing with AoOs. Your combat rounds are usually spent with Defensive Rebuke or Covering Strike and a full attack, or casting a buff or employing White Raven Tactics. (If you’re in close quarters, that buff could be Enlarge Person and you use Thicket of Blades; if you’re at a distance you remain in Press the Advantage and use Sniper’s Shot if you’re outside of 30’).


In practical terms, this means that you can peg the entire enemy line with arrows that provide Great Ally flanking bonuses to your team. These arrows can either shut down enemy AoO abilities for three whole rounds or can give you prodigious movement and evasion: if the enemy retaliates, you can actually 5’ step over 130 feet on the enemy turn, including over difficult terrain. Yes, you can actually shuffle more distance than many fully-equipped characters can run. Skirmish bonuses last for 1 round after the movement that triggered them, so any time the enemy provokes an AoO from you, they’re giving you serious skirmish bonuses on your AC and next round’s full attacks. If they dogpile you in melee, switching to Thicket with reach gives you the exact opposite of its usual effect of locking down the enemy: you get an escape route, as any form of movement in that area gives you two 5’ steps to escape them. (Remember the Evasion Tank? Attacks aimed at the wrong square flat-out miss. You can even reflect targeted spells in the late-game.)


In addition to the above, your skills work out well: with the variants discussed above, the dungeon-crawler configuration works out with the following configuration, without spending a single cross-class skill point.

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It’s actually quite respectable even without specific skill boosts (i.e. Shadow/Silent Moves). Favored Enemy bonuses can range from +2 to +8 depending on how you distributed them:

  • Sense Motive 12 (+12, Favored Enemy)

  • Search 23 (+24, Trapfinding)

  • Hide 11 (+25)

  • Move Silently 11 (+25)

  • Disable Device 23 (+24, Trapfinding)

  • Listen 23 (+23, Favored Enemy, Listen to This, Mimicry)

  • Spot 23 (+23, Favored Enemy, See the Unseen)

  • Bluff 6 (+7, Favored Enemy, Mimicry)

  • Tumble 10 (+22)

  • Gather Information 9 (+10, Favored Enemy)

  • Climb 0 (+8, Dungeon Specialist)


Skill tricks: Listen to This, See the Unseen. The former works surprisingly well with your Mimicry ability (you can reproduce what you heard in its original voice, leading to all kinds of unusual uses for the skill trick, especially against maxed-out favored enemies (Bluff); the Voice of the City ability may even let you repeat orders you’ve heard before in languages other than your own) and the latter is devastatingly good with Woodland Archer and/or Blind-Fight (anything you continually attack basically is as good as visible to you).



Overall Strengths: Very capable archer even before you factor in Skirmish. Amazing basic defenses, especially after Skirmish triggers (I was able to see AC 45 and 21/29(evasion)/18 saves without any real effort). Skirmish triggers when it isn’t your turn, along with a hilariously good ability to move without spending actions to do so (and with all the benefits a 5’ step brings over normal movement, i.e. no AoOs). Capable party support options in terms of skill list, dungeon-crawling class features, maneuvers (White Raven Tactics, Bolstering Voice, Covering Strike) and Distracting Attack (very useful if you have sneak attackers on board). Nearly the full range of Swift Hunter benefits, along with nearly full base attack. A collection of unusual mechanics apparently unique to the build makes it refreshing to play – imagine switching on Enlarge or Thicket to avoid the enemy, rather than make them not avoid you! (Also, you’re also able to engage in this movement while flat-footed, so if you’re ambushed, you can quickly move for cover or an ideal return-fire angle before even rolling initiative. Thank you, Combat Reflexes.)


Basically, this is a good cross between a ranged warrior-type and a harrier rogue, and it does that job damn well. By straddling those roles without compromising too much from either one, and keeping an array of party support effects in the hole, Flip the Bird fits well into many different parties. From the DM’s side of the table, this can cause some serious table-flipping frustration for experienced players – the more they rely on attacks of opportunity, the more distinctive Flip the Bird becomes as an enemy. Give him proper melee support and watch them weep. (If you’re showing off, have him start in melee with Thicket (and possibly Enlarge) active. His ability to slip away from that unscathed is practically mind-boggling, especially against chargers.)


Overall Weaknesses:You know the mantra, so say it with me now: will save. Resistance items, Crystal Masks of Mindarmor, and similar are good calls. On top of that, he shares a weakness with the Gnowhere Gnome in that any savvy enemy will respond to this shuffling by using AoEs. (We suggest a Ring of Evasion; unlike the Gnome you’re rocking a serious Reflex save, but also unlike the Gnome, you lack Concentration for the cheap Diamond Mind rings.) Lots of competition for your swift action and crusader recovery makes it difficult to employ all of your stunts with reasonable frequency. Long fights do not work out in your favor, since Covering Strike only works once on a given foe (although that’s usually long enough for you to refresh maneuvers, and if it expires that’s actually freeing up your swift). Finally, your HP are a bit on the low side, although you’ll be maddeningly hard to hit if you’re making regular use of Defensive Rebuke or Thicket.


Variants: There’s two discussed above: Swapping Martial Stance for Robilar’s Gambit (shifts you more to Evasion Tank territory – you’ll have to rely on conventional defense to protect against the first attack, but you still get your shuffling, in melee or at range) or switching to Strongheart Halfling (dramatically alters the feat timing by unlocking Point Blank Shot earlier, slightly improves ranged accuracy and your Hide skill, dramatically weakens you if you’re dogpiled by, say, teleporting Lockdown builds, and drops Great Ally and Mimicry). Both are very plausible tweaks, although they do detract a bit from the theme by respectively cutting back on your shuffling and removing your feathers.


Slightly more involved – at least on the skill front – is dropping the collection of variants from Cityscape and Dungeonscape. They’re completely optional. This most dramatically drops your innate Climb speed early on and makes Disable Device a lot harder to max out without cross-classing, but in exchange it significantly improves your tracking ability and Survival skill, and it cuts down on the number of substitutions (which makes it easier to sell to DMs).


Finally, I mentioned the build benefits significantly from flaws (or bonus feat races if you decide to drop that angle). The main reasons why involve standalone feats that probably key off your Dexterity. These get crowded out of the build due to all ranged feats requiring Point Blank Shot, even if they don’t use that ability. Here, I’m looking mostly at Tactile Trapsmith, which works out to a fat +11 to two of your critical skills (hello, +35 trapscout skills! That’s good enough to stand a decent chance against the Uncanny Trapsmith’s work!) and helps foil the evil DM trick of magically invisible traps (er, that is, it helps cover for both Kenku and Halfling lack of darkvision while trapscouting in the dark. Not wanting to give DMs any ideas or anything.).


…As a minor aside, if you have truly every source available to you, the silliest (as in, face-palming silliest) purchase you can make is the Arms & Equipment Guide’s Sparring Dummy of the Master. Clearly intended for monks (yay, we hit another base!), it changes all 5’ steps into 10’ steps. This gives the Robilar’s variant access to Press-the-Advantage-level movement, and makes the Press the Advantage version downright ridiculous. An average round of combat might put enough distance between you and the main fight to start busting out serious Spot penalties. The item was never reprinted for 3.5 and is probably undercosted for its benefit, but it is from an official Wizards source. If you get it, go ahead and use it to Flip the Bird at whoever designed it.




There you have it. This is an alternate take on the ranged Tome of Battle approach, and I think the first one to exploit Evasive Reflexes in this fashion - you get a damn fine archer with a respectable skill loadout and damage capacity, combined with some rather impressive and (to my knowledge) novel mobility techniques. The degree to which this is frustrating depends on the size of the enemy forces as well as how technical they are with AoOs - use it against a team of experienced players with melee characters, and it'll be an evening to remember. 


Next up: ...Well, last week, [DH] Eat Sleep Gank won, but I didn't have the writeup ready on time due to unforeseen problems (also why this is delayed). So, in exchange, Eat Sleep Gank goes up next week.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL - I'll also include one of [RT] Edge of the Light, [AR] Slash and Burn, or [TS/AR/RT] Something Completely Different.... Vote for one of these below - and leave your comments on Flip the Bird!

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

The Birdman of Alcatraz just got jealous, I think. This is, I think, my favorite build thus far!
I like this format better than the new one, though it would be handy if you included class levels along with character level. My vote this week is Slash & Burn.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
The whole time I was reading this I was just imagining a bird moonwalking while giving you 'the bird'. Pleasant imagery to say the least. This is the first time I have ever seen a ranged build that actually focused primarily on being defensive while still maintaining acceptable damage.

My vote for next week is slash and burn, which I am going to guess is a single classed swordsage focusing on the fire based maneuvers. 
The Birdman of Alcatraz just got jealous, I think. This is, I think, my favorite build thus far! I like this format better than the new one, though it would be handy if you included class levels along with character level. My vote this week is Slash & Burn.


Edited in the class levels. That's a good idea. 

The reason the new format exists is to have an at-a-glance look at the whole build, which is hard to view on common screen resolutions otherwise- the one peeve I have at my own format is that it's sometimes hard to get an at-a-glance sense of the progression.

And although I'm no doubt biased, it's one of my favorites too. It went over well with our group - RT claimed he really wanted to play one (which means our highly-experienced, 3/5 melee-focused Dead for Nothing party can probably expect to face something like them real soon...), and Andarious hinted that one of these guys might be competing with the Heavy as a possible cohort. (I'd think the Heavy is better as a cohort myself since it's less cognitively demanding than Flip, who needs perfect situational awareness (especially in close quarters), but I think Flip is perhaps a better fit (largely due to Distracting Attack).)

The whole time I was reading this I was just imagining a bird moonwalking while giving you 'the bird'. Pleasant imagery to say the least. This is the first time I have ever seen a ranged build that actually focused primarily on being defensive while still maintaining acceptable damage.


To be fair, it'll be low over time, since you will frequently find yourself outside the 30' range limit and you might not have your swift available (you use swifts for both Defensive Rebuke and Sniper's Shot). But in tight circumstances, the 30' range limit can be maintained, particularly with Robilar's and either of your stances: you always remain just out of reach.

There are ways to block that, but we'll address this in another thread later on. I want to give Flip's stunts a chance to settle in first before that article hits.

My vote for next week is slash and burn, which I am going to guess is a single classed swordsage focusing on the fire based maneuvers.


I'm not in the habit of giving away hints, but you're right for two out of twenty levels, and two out of nine maneuvers, and even then half of what you were right on is mostly just there to round out the build. :P

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Well I am glad I wasn't just completely wrong. So a two level dip into swordsage makes me thing it is some sort of Jade Phoenix Mage gish now. THE SUSPENSE IS TOO MUCH.
I was picturing a Duskblade... Maybe it's a Duskblade/swordsage JPM Gish?
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
HEEYYYY! SHIFTY BIRDIE! Op- Op- Op- Op- Oppan Kenku Style!

This is one of my favourite builds to come out on the showcase so far. There's strong combat builds that win fights easily, and then there are builds that make winning fights fun.
Pretty much every martial-type character they have done has involved use of the Tome of Battle, and I expected this to be no different. Assuming you can use channeling strike along with a manuever based attack I could see that being pretty effective really.
If only there was an effect that gave damage on movement...this build could use it to absolutely silly effect provided you maintained Press The Advantage. As it is, it is still very stylish and useful.

As for the vote...going for Slash and Burn this time. Edge of the Light will have to wait a bit.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
If only there was an effect that gave damage on movement...this build could use it to absolutely silly effect provided you maintained Press The Advantage. As it is, it is still very stylish and useful.

As for the vote...going for Slash and Burn this time. Edge of the Light will have to wait a bit.


There's a number of related effects, but how they interact with the rules is dodgy. For instance, damage auras (equipment, usually) don't deal their damage at a consistent time, but to allow for them to work while moving, you might have them deal their damage whenever a target enters their radius. In this case, you can just slide the radius around.

This isn't perfect - reach chargers can still peg you (particularly if you don't use the Robilar's variant at 12th), and you can't move the entire distance unless targets are provoking (meaning you're at best effect in large battlefields littered with obstacles or terrain - these happen a lot, but in dungeon circumstances they can be limited. Interesting note on the dungeoneering bird: You don't have to even see your target to perform Evasive Reflexes, so you can continue to slide around corners, down the hall, and behind cover, only to return with Woodland Archer:Moving Sniper). But it is a rather new approach to gameplay anyway.






@RadicalTaoist:  No good can come of this. You've broken the meme barrier. I cannot be responsible for what follows.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

There have been SO many builds using this trick or variants on it in our doc. This includes the character build I just put into the PBP game with RT and OoP. The level 11 feat for Warblade will be Combat Reflexes, the level 12 Feat will be Robilar's Gambit. At 13 Rapid Counter's on the table and 15 Ironheart Aura and Stormguard Warrior (just for kicks really, gives a solid Yin/Yang combat style). The rest doesn't so much fit the trifck as round it out. Overall I'm VERY happy with this character's feel and flow as a polearm fighter.
There have been SO many builds using this trick or variants on it in our doc. This includes the character build I just put into the PBP game with RT and OoP. The level 11 feat for Warblade will be Combat Reflexes, the level 12 Feat will be Robilar's Gambit. At 13 Rapid Counter's on the table and 15 Ironheart Aura and Stormguard Warrior (just for kicks really, gives a solid Yin/Yang combat style). The rest doesn't so much fit the trifck as round it out. Overall I'm VERY happy with this character's feel and flow as a polearm fighter.


Ohhhh, that's gonna be handy. Get anti-undead equipment, particularly truedeath crystals for those incorporeal undead.
@RadicalTaoist:  No good can come of this. You've broken the meme barrier. I cannot be responsible for what follows.


IA! IA! YOG-DANSOTH! THE MEME WITH A THOUSAND YOUNG!
Am I correct in noting that using Covering Strike against the bird with an enemy archer will also basically shut down this build?


And a thicket build with Stand Still, of course.


But, nice effect! I don't think I've ever seen so much potential movement on the off turn...

==Aelryinth      
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Am I correct in noting that using Covering Strike against the bird with an enemy archer will also basically shut down this build?


It'll shut down his advanced movement, assuming those three rounds overlap with one where he would have used Defensive Rebuke. He can still move and manyshot, sit still and shoot, 5' step + Press the Advantage + full attack, or initiate one of his other maneuvers. Or any number of other things - having levels in Sorcerer means he can use wands with ease, for instance.

You're right, though - if you need to root him in place, you can use a ranged Covering Strike of your own, which limits his actions during that duration. Time it right (i.e. right after he uses Defensive Rebuke) and you can flip the bird at Flip the Bird. And interestingly enough, White Raven's open to crusaders, who are the only one of the three adepts who is naturally proficient in ranged weapons, so "covering fire" doesn't require much investment on your part.

Of course, there are only a handful of effects that say "cannot make attacks of opportunity" - and I think only Covering Strike is usable with ranged weapons. (No spell does this to my knowledge either. Flat footing isn't enough: Combat Reflexes takes care of that.) So while it is a good foil, it isn't a universal one.

And a thicket build with Stand Still, of course.


...Oddly, I don't think Stand Still works - you stop moving "as if you'd used up your move actions for the turn". Stand Still would stop a 5' step, but since you can 5' step after you're out of move actions, he just steps again on the next provoke. (And, in the Robilar's variant, that "next provoke" is immediately after you take your Stand Still AoO - you don't damage him but stop him in his tracks? Fine, that provokes another AoO from him (which expressly resolves after the attack), and he uses that to step away. Which provokes another attack from you, and so on and so forth - and since you're a melee tank, I bet you spent fewer points into Dexterity than he did...).

Assuming you can keep up on the AoO game - or make those hits count - a simpler approach is simply to trip him. Prone targets can't 5' step. Fancy-pants AoO dedication feats like Stand Still become counterproductive, while fundamentals like Improved Trip remain useful. And Thicket, of course, is the great enabler - no arguments here on how useful, and dangerous, it can be.

And that assumes you're able to get close to him - he's an archer. Equipment wise he probably packs a teleport; if he's not able to use a teleport, and he's at risk of having people attack him in melee, oddly, he can cast Enlarge Person. This gives him reach - and he has a Thicket of his own. Anyone who doesn't have similar reach just causes him to scoot away. (Yes, Enlarge Person is defensive.)

Thicket and chargers-with-reach are the two biggest problems this fellow has - but they're not universal problems. We've been experimenting more with Evasive Reflexes since Flip The Bird first showed up, and the results are interesting: Flip isn't actually the best one we've made. He's just got the greatest potential move distance, due to massive Dexterity synergy. It's much more fun to work with this technique in melee. (For a quick and dirty example, see the link Andarious posted. Flip uses Evasive defensively, while others use it far more proactively by wanting to be in melee.)


But, nice effect! I don't think I've ever seen so much potential movement on the off turn...

==Aelryinth      


Me neither, barring teleports, which don't work with things like Skirmish. 




Interesting thought: Anyone know what happens if, say, Flip's Enlarged and someone charges at him, and he uses Press the Advantage to step away when the charger leaves his first threatened square? Does the charger pursue Flip (assuming he stepped straight back), or does it foil the charge? (Simply put, do you charge "to a square" or "to an opponent"?) Naturally, two separate diagonal sidesteps (normally this is 15' of movement, but you take each of the 5' steps separately under Press the Advantage) shuts down a lot of melee attacks, but what about straight movement? Could you simply outrun a charger without spending an action?

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Voting for Slash and Burn as well.


You could certainly outrun the Charge, but the charger has the option to keep moving up until he runs out of movement...and you'd only get 1 AoO trigger off of the normal movement, right? After all, he's charging you, not the square you were standing in. He can just choose to keep going in reaction to your movement. It's HIS TURN, after all.

This also applies to someone with a Reach Weapon. They aren't swinging at the square you were swinging in, they are swinging at you. If you move 5' and are still in reach, they can still hit you. Funnily enough, if they're doing a full attack, they could also choose to take their one 5' step, which you can do at any time during a full attack, and keep pace with you!  (ooops, you thought you were out of reach)

I wouldn't let Evasive Reflexes trump Thicket and Stand Still anymore then I'd let Pouncing Charge trump it. 'used up all of your movement' is pretty blanket. You've been Stand Stilled...you've used up all of your movement, even if more magically falls from the heavens. It doesn't say you get to move if someone suddenly casts haste and your move increases, does it? Evasive Reflexes is all part of your movement..the fact you're granted a step is superfluous if it's used up before you're allowed to take it, which is basically what has happened. The intent is obvious that you can't move until it is your turn. The only way out of Stand Still is non-movement (i,.e. Teleport) options, which are hard to do off turn.

==Aelryinth


  
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
An opponent leaving a square you threaten provokes an AOO, that means actually that they provoke more than once. Each time they leave a square you threaten it's a seperate action provoking an AOO.

I gotta say I disagree as well with the whole Stand Still trumps everything shy of teleporting. Your movement available drops to 0, additional 5' steps granted after that are another thing altogether. You can run and if you have the run feat still take another 5' step for each AOO you have after having moved a silly distance already. Why then not add more 5' steps onto some other condition that otherwise would have you out of movement?
Voting for Slash and Burn as well.


You could certainly outrun the Charge, but the charger has the option to keep moving up until he runs out of movement...and you'd only get 1 AoO trigger off of the normal movement, right? After all, he's charging you, not the square you were standing in. He can just choose to keep going in reaction to your movement. It's HIS TURN, after all.


See, that was my first thought as well (hence the diagonal shifting being ideal), but there's a counterargument: a charge has tight, tight restrictions on movement, and one of those restrictions is that "you must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent." (For most chargers this means you can't charge to the best position, you have to charge to the closest.) Here, though, if you move to that space, and the target is no longer in reach...

This also applies to someone with a Reach Weapon. They aren't swinging at the square you were swinging in, they are swinging at you. If you move 5' and are still in reach, they can still hit you. Funnily enough, if they're doing a full attack, they could also choose to take their one 5' step, which you can do at any time during a full attack, and keep pace with you!  (ooops, you thought you were out of reach)


You're assuming he fights in melee, instead of simply carrying some melee defenses. This line of argument is valid, and important, but of greater import to someone who intends to end his turn nearby other enemies.

I wouldn't let Evasive Reflexes trump Thicket and Stand Still anymore then I'd let Pouncing Charge trump it. 'used up all of your movement' is pretty blanket. You've been Stand Stilled...you've used up all of your movement, even if more magically falls from the heavens. It doesn't say you get to move if someone suddenly casts haste and your move increases, does it? Evasive Reflexes is all part of your movement..the fact you're granted a step is superfluous if it's used up before you're allowed to take it, which is basically what has happened. The intent is obvious that you can't move until it is your turn. The only way out of Stand Still is non-movement (i,.e. Teleport) options, which are hard to do off turn.


Stand Still does NOT say movement. It says "move actions". And you can use up your move actions and still take 5' steps - classic example is employing Order Forged from Chaos and then 5' stepping in before taking your standard action.

Compare Stone Vise to Overwhelming Mountain Strike for a ToB example of the distinction. Overwhelming Mountain Strike prevents any move action (including trading your standard for a move action), which doesn't block 5' steps. Stone Vise reduces your speed to 0, which does prevent 5' steps.

Thicket seems to trump things like the White Raven charges (which do not provoke AoOs), but even that is more due to having two sets of absolute language, one more absolute than the other (see AWOL? Yeah, like that). But it isn't unstoppable in and of itself. The first defense, used by Flip, is simply to stay out of the way. You can get more sophisticated with it if you want to play that game, but that's a story for another build.

Incidentally, I would sincerely LOVE to see your feedback on our melee work with this feat, when it comes up.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Well, I think you're splitting hairs on the move action language. I'm more focused on the 'used up all for the turn' part of the description, which is clearly intended to reduce movement to nothing, and you're choosing to focus on the 'move action', and getting around it with 5-15' steps based off AoO that aren't 'move actions'.


Andareius, remember that moving out of a threatened square only works ONCE for generating an AoO. You can do a jig 360 degrees around someone, enter and leave multiple squares, but you'll only generate one AoO.
Except, of course, with Thicket up...which is designed to totally stop that movement nonsense from happening.

I guess it comes down to how strong you believe Stand Still is. The language can do either way, depending on what part of the statement you choose to emphasize. IF you favor the 'all movement this turn' language, then no 5' steps until it's your turn. Period. If you instead choose the 'move action' language, you really gimp the feat.

Note: Afraid that I don't believe you can take a 5' step and not trigger both Stand Still and Thicket. Taking that 5' step would trigger Thicket, which should trigger Stand Still, and now you're basically saying that Stand Still can't stop you from moving, even though you've used up all your movement, because you're not taking a move action?

So, no. I think Stand Still can stop a 5' step, and that means it can stop your 'extra' ones. "All movement" is pretty blanket for me.


==Aelryinth         
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Well, I think you're splitting hairs on the move action language. I'm more focused on the 'used up all for the turn' part of the description, which is clearly intended to reduce movement to nothing, and you're choosing to focus on the 'move action', and getting around it with 5-15' steps based off AoO that aren't 'move actions'.


A character begins his turn in an AoO tank's reach, and tries to move. The AoO tank, having fought off an advance earlier, is down to his last AoO, and uses it to successfully make the character Stand Still. The character then manifests Hustle. Can the character try to move again?

Under both your interpretation and mine, he can. (Under mine it's obvious - the first move was foiled, the second is unhindered. Under yours it's a bit more circumspect: he uses up his speed from the first action, but can spend the second action to get another bout of speed.) 

5' steps work the same way but are more restricted on when you can take them (normally - it's not quite clear if you can use a 5' step from Evasive Reflexes if you would otherwise be unable to take 5' steps (i.e. if you move on your turn, you can't also take a 5' step, but if you move and then, when it isn't your turn, someone provokes, you probably can.))

Andareius, remember that moving out of a threatened square only works ONCE for generating an AoO. You can do a jig 360 degrees around someone, enter and leave multiple squares, but you'll only generate one AoO.
Except, of course, with Thicket up...which is designed to totally stop that movement nonsense from happening.

I guess it comes down to how strong you believe Stand Still is. The language can do either way, depending on what part of the statement you choose to emphasize. IF you favor the 'all movement this turn' language, then no 5' steps until it's your turn. Period. If you instead choose the 'move action' language, you really gimp the feat.


I disagree - it's not the move action (single trigger) that provokes normally, it's when you leave a threatened square.

Analogy: If I take a ranged full attack to shoot four arrows at you while you threaten me, you get four separate provokes (one for each arrow; ranged attacks provoke), not one (for the full attack action). 
Similarly: If I take a move action to move five squares through your threatened area, you get four separate provokes (one for each square you leave; leaving a square is what provokes), not one (for the move action).

Thicket works in that there are ways around the latter, most notably Tumble, the 5' step, and a host of abilities that expressly bypass AoOs (White Raven charges and Setting Sun throws, for instance). These are annoying, especially Tumble (which, without "counter tumble" rules of some sort, made early AoO tanks sub-par).

Note: Afraid that I don't believe you can take a 5' step and not trigger both Stand Still and Thicket. Taking that 5' step would trigger Thicket, which should trigger Stand Still, and now you're basically saying that Stand Still can't stop you from moving, even though you've used up all your movement, because you're not taking a move action?

So, no. I think Stand Still can stop a 5' step, and that means it can stop your 'extra' ones. "All movement" is pretty blanket for me.


(EDIT: I misread you at first.)

I'm sorry if I didn't sound right earlier: Thicket + Stand Still can stop a single 5' step in its tracks. The example I was discussing earlier was using Press the Advantage - you take two separate 5' steps there (instead of one 10' step), and if Stand Still foils the first, the second proceeds normally (possibly provoking again).

Things get ridiculous with the Robilar's variant, even though that gives up Press the Advantage's double-stepping - if you provoke somehow, and he tries to step away, you use Stand Still and hit him - giving him another chance to step away. In this case, if you blindly keep Stand Stilling him, you will run out of AoOs before he runs out of movement, due to his insane Dexterity relative to the merely "good to great" Dexterity of most AoO tanks.

A better move in either case is to trip him. Prone targets aren't making any 5' steps (so Press' second step doesn't go off) and it only takes one attack to do this to him (leaving your other AoOs open for other enemies).

...Of course, this is academic most of the time - the last place any archer wants to be is in melee with an AoO tank, and Flip's very good at keeping the distance. You'd have to teleport most of the time for that to work - and if an AoO tank (read: nonspellcaster) has teleportation, so does Flip (read: access to sorcerer spells via spell trigger).

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I have to say that I kind of dislike Stand Still's wording, since you don't explicitly have a set number of move actions unless you choose to take them.  If, for example, you charge, withdraw, or run, you perform movement without having even a single move action during the round.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Why are we discussing use of Stand Still against a build with god Reflex saves again? Stuns, or intimidation in the styl of Imperious Command, are the better option. If you can dispel the vest, grapples would work well too.
Why are we discussing use of Stand Still against a build with god Reflex saves again? Stuns, or intimidation in the styl of Imperious Command, are the better option. If you can dispel the vest, grapples would work well too.


While this is a good point, you can't just say "good reflex, done" any more than Aelryinth can say "Thicket, done". Basic gear gives Flip +29 Reflex - you've seen us outpace that damage-wise at levels far below 20.

The lynchpin, though, is that the same basic gear gives Flip AC 45. That's high enough to give most Power Attackers some pause. As the showcases typically show, with just Greater Magic Weapon, most offensive specialists have attack bonuses around +35. You can get that higher with custom weapons (martial discipline comes to mind) or by sinking feats into the fighter weapon mastery chain (this is expensive, but it's a +4 that can't come from anywhere else) - and this assumes you aren't taking similar defensive measures with Flip (customized defensive items are diverse and can begin to tap into things like concealment or damage reduction). Without taking such measures, you're on a 50% hit rate pre-power-attack, and that's usually a point of no return. And without Power Attack, it can get difficult to keep the damage up.

(This is one of the reasons the Dead for Nothing team can take on things like multiple 16 HD magical beasts with concealment, AoE debuffs, and more HP than the entire party put together at level 8. Inspire Courage + Hexblade's Curse/Focalor's aura gives a ten-point swing for us on the attack-vs-AC front, meaning much more liberal use of Power Attack. It's only going to get worse once Aluonna picks up Words of Creation.)

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I've been thinking about the comparrison of charging to 5' steps and the main difference in the wording as I read it is that it ENDS your movement and prevents further move actions. Taking additional 5' steps after the fact is in no way prevented but moving further with your current movement is, thus Charegs, spring attacks and the like ARE foiled, Evasive Reflexes though, not so much.
Tempest, I think you're double misinterpreting me.


1) It's part of the core rules...you only provoke once per character when leaving a threatened square.  I can circle an opponent, leave 9 threatened squares and he only gets one AoO off me. It's part of the core rules.
Arrows shooting, sure. Movement, just the one. 
Thicket upgrades that to all squares and mutiple instances, but that's Thicket.

2) Look at the wording from Stand still from an action standpoint.

You attack. He gets an AoO, which goes off before/after the hit. You get to take a 5' step. You are then Stand Stilled...and all your movement is gone, including the movement that would have gone into those 5' steps. If ANOTHER AoO provokes you for more movement, it does so before the Stand Still goes off again...which means the Stand Still uses up all your movement again, before you take the step.

So either Stand Still is going to go off, and eat up all the AoO movement before you can take it, OR it's going to go off after the AoO movement is taken...which could lead to the insane effect of you being stand stilled 5 times, take a 15' step, and THEN be locked into position? After you've already been hit and your move eaten up?

I disagree with you on Hustle. Manifesting it gets you a move action and more move...but all your movement is used up until it is your turn, it doesn't matter when the additional movement 'comes out of nowhere'...it's still used up 'as if you'd used up all your move actions'.  

Stand Still is intended to lock someone in place. I tend to think you have to use some manner of non-mundane move to thwart it.   

==Aelryinth       
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
You're putting the emphasis on the wrong section there aelrinth it's "when you leave a 5' square" that's important, each 5' square is checked seperately. Surpurfluis wording to prevent people thinking that Combat Reflexes lets you unload on someone who runs away from you.

Another part of the problem here with communication is that our group largely looks at sequence being the most important factor in rulings. Much like a game of Magic The Gathering, with priority unwinding and then new effects that go on happen outside. Move actions = 0 after Stand Still, Hustle is manifest after that and then move actions = 1. Simple math, Stand Still dropped it to 0, then you raised it again. The effect of Stand Still is instant, not persistant, as it were. It does not say "upon a fialed reflex save the target may not move under their own power until their next turn" which would indicate a persistant effect.
Andarius:


Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity

If you have the Combat Reflexes feat you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn’t count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.


Thicket changes that, but those are the default rules.

And  we'll have to agree to disagree  on the movement. Using up all your movement for the round is pretty iron-clad. Just because somene casts a Haste on you after you're stand stilled doesn't mean you can suddenly move again. I see no difference with Hustle and AoO steps - it's still all movement, and all your movement for the round is done.

==Aelryinth

Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Andarius:


Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity

If you have the Combat Reflexes feat you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn’t count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.


Thicket changes that, but those are the default rules.



I stand corrected! Thanks, I missed that.

And  we'll have to agree to disagree  on the movement. Using up all your movement for the round is pretty iron-clad. Just because somene casts a Haste on you after you're stand stilled doesn't mean you can suddenly move again.


Right, because you spent the move action earlier and Haste increases your speed (the amount you can move with one move action).
I see no difference with Hustle and AoO steps - it's still all movement, and all your movement for the round is done.


You stopped AS IF you had used up your move actions. You did not actually use up all your move actions IF YOU HAVE A SECOND MOVE ACTION available from something like Hustle - or even trading your standard action to do so.  You can then spend the second move action to attempt to move your speed again.

Stand Still's great, but it isn't all-powerful. 

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

You stopped AS IF you had used up your move actions. You did not actually use up all your move actions IF YOU HAVE A SECOND MOVE ACTION available from something like Hustle - or even trading your standard action to do so.  You can then spend the second move action to attempt to move your speed again.

Even if you were stopped by Stand Still and could no longer move (due to your movement from move actions effectively being used up), manifesting hustle afterwards would give you an additional action that wasn't used up since you didn't have it at the time you were struck by Stand Still.

Stand Still could cancel the movement from hustle if you'd already manifested the power, but manifesting it after already being stopped gives you an action that hasn't been effectively used up.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
You stopped AS IF you had used up your move actions. You did not actually use up all your move actions IF YOU HAVE A SECOND MOVE ACTION available from something like Hustle - or even trading your standard action to do so.  You can then spend the second move action to attempt to move your speed again.

Even if you were stopped by Stand Still and could no longer move (due to your movement from move actions effectively being used up), manifesting hustle afterwards would give you an additional action that wasn't used up since you didn't have it at the time you were struck by Stand Still.

Stand Still could cancel the movement from hustle if you'd already manifested the power, but manifesting it after already being stopped gives you an action that hasn't been effectively used up.


I'm not sure I agree with this. I don't think the order of operations matters at all - because Stand Still doesn't actually remove all movement. It simply stops your current movement "as if" you had used up your move actions. You still have those actions available, and Stand Still does nothing to affect future movement, regardless of what actions you have available.

For instance, again, I can spend my move action on Order Forged from Chaos. I still have a swift and standard available, but now I have used up my move actions. Nothing is stopping me from trading my standard action for a move action and moving my speed, or spending my swift action on Hustle (well, assuming you have access to both that and high-level maneuvers... nitpick aside) and using that bonus move action to move my speed.

I don't see any difference between that scenario and one where, instead of Order Forged from Chaos, I moved my speed and was smacked with Stand Still before I left the first square - I stop "as if" I had used up my move actions. From there, I still have ways of getting extra move actions - some magical, some mundane.

Incidentally, if you manifest Hustle in advance, you still have the move action - Stand Still doesn't remove it nor prevent you from spending that move action on anything. I can manifest Hustle, use my normal action to move (only to be Stand Stilled) and then still spend the Hustle move action on, say, Order Forged from Chaos - and nothing in Stand Still prevents me from spending that secondary move action on regular movement as well (although it wouldn't be wise - I'm in an AoO tank's threatened area, so I'd be wise to find other things to do. This is also why you can move, be Stand Stilled, and then decide to spend a standard action doing something like attacking - if you spend that standard action to get another move action, you'd be inviting the AoO tank to Stand Still you again or trip you.)

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Oh, bravo! I am glad to see something with Evasive Reflexes. I thought that's what the Evasion Tank might have been, using e.g. Evasive + Karmic Strike (though that shouldn't work, since you have to be hit with Karmic to get the AoO - it's debatable, though). Sadly, Robilar's states that you take the AoO after being hit, too.

I think the winner is using it with Scout, though. It's a smart way to get the skirmish damage.

One question - Defensive Rebuke states that your foe provokes an AoO from you. Are you assuming that's enough to activate Evasive Reflexes? It seems as though you need to stand adjacent to everyone for it to work, because unless you threaten them you can't get your AoOs (even if one argues that the AoO is threaten regardless of whether you can take it - which I think is just exploiting bad wording - Evasive only works when you have "a chance to make an attack of opportunity").

I also spotted Fade into Violence which might have been useful with Defensive Rebuke (enemy strikes at you, Fade diverts to an ally - who probably benefits from Iron Guard's Glare - and Defensive Rebuke is triggered) but it seems far too limited.
Also, Karmit/Robilar's + Evasive to set up things like flanks sounds like fun, though Island of Blades does make that somewhat redundant.
Oh, bravo! I am glad to see something with Evasive Reflexes. I thought that's what the Evasion Tank might have been, using e.g. Evasive + Karmic Strike (though that shouldn't work, since you have to be hit with Karmic to get the AoO - it's debatable, though). Sadly, Robilar's states that you take the AoO after being hit, too.


Thanks!

Interestingly, although Robilar's is slow, it has a few advantages - it triggers off of a hit or a miss (including if you counter - we use Shield Block from here, but an Iron Heart vest might be able to add on Wall of Blades, which hilariously doesn't appear to require a melee attack roll either - you can block a greatclub with an arrow!). It also doesn't care if the attack is in melee or at range - archers ambushing you are in for a surprise (you have Uncanny Dodge and Combat Reflexes, so you keep your Dex to AC and can make AoOs while flat-footed, so each of those arrows going your way gives you a chance to shift behind cover before you roll initiative). Finally, the AC penalty is offset by Skirmish - I think this is the only build I've seen that can trigger skirmish off-turn, although other builds with Skirmish + Robilar's can do similar things with on-turn movement.

The REAL strength with Robilar's + Evasive has yet to be plumbed. What if I told you I had three different builds waiting for people behind "Something Completely Different" this week? I'm kind of disappointed no one's going for that.

I think the winner is using it with Scout, though. It's a smart way to get the skirmish damage.


The line of reasoning behind that was something like this:
-Heavy Weapons Elf gets Defensive Rebuke at range, but doesn't have a way to take AoOs.
-Gnowhere Gnome reminds us that Evasive Reflexes exists.
-I wonder what happens if we put the two together?
-Hey, look at that, it's surprisingly good!
-Now, what else can we do with this much free movement?
-Skirmish is a natural thought here - have enemies trigger your movement, and keep a threatened area + Thicket to provide some ability to retreat if you're caught off-guard in Skirmish's close range. This is quite interesting because we don't need to worry about extra-action movement to get a full-attack skirmish - off-turn movement is enough, at least while Defensive Rebuke is granted.
-May as well go Swift Hunter to get the attack bonus up, especially while delaying Crusader's start point to get Defensive Rebuke. Also gives us Distracting Attack, which fits with the harrier theme.
-Hm. Why not add in Sorcerer for Sniper's Shot? Lets you move far away from battle and still keep the damage up.
-Sorcerer also gets Enlarge Person - which is defensive here, hilariously enough, since big threatened areas in Thicket provoke AoOs which we can use to escape.
-Finally, why not grab Press the Advantage, to give an extreme movement advantage? Needs a Martial Stance feat, but we've got the slot open. (My original buildplan had Robilar's in this feat slot until Andarious correctly pointed out that Press the Advantage is much more interesting here, but Robilar's + Evasive is still an extremely powerful combination with the right support.)

At this point the build split in two - one based on fleshing out the feats and maneuver choices, producing Flip the Bird. The others... well, you'll see soon. Andarious' PbP character earlier in the thread is an example of what we've found, but the format on that page prevents you from clearly seeing just how surprising it was.

(And a note to the rest of our group: I'm trying to keep the spoilers on that down a bit, until it gets released here.)

One question - Defensive Rebuke states that your foe provokes an AoO from you. Are you assuming that's enough to activate Evasive Reflexes? It seems as though you need to stand adjacent to everyone for it to work, because unless you threaten them you can't get your AoOs (even if one argues that the AoO is threaten regardless of whether you can take it - which I think is just exploiting bad wording - Evasive only works when you have "a chance to make an attack of opportunity").



It is enough to activate Evasive Reflexes. Normally, an opponent needs to be within your threatened area to provoke at all. Defensive Rebuke explicitly says that their attack provokes an attack of opportunity from you: " If [an opponent you hit after using this boost] attacks anyone other than you in melee for the duration of the maneuver, that attack provokes an attack of opportunity from you (each separate attack a target makes provokes an attack of opportunity, making this boost especially lethal if you have Combat Reflexes)". Note that you don't have to threaten the target for the provoke! The boost provides the provoke trigger on its own.

If, for instance, a normal melee crusader Defensively Rebukes a gnoll, then the gnoll manages to escape from the crusader and attack the party rogue from outside the crusader's reach, he still provokes from the crusader - it's just that the crusader can't take the opportunity since he can't reach the gnoll. (In a normal fight, the gnoll would have to do something while threatened to provoke, but with Defensive Rebuke, he merely needs to attack someone else - there's no need to threaten unless you want to follow through with the attack.)

With Flip, the same sort of thing happens - but Evasive Reflexes says "When an opponent gives you a chance to make an attack of opportunity, you can instead immediately take a 5-foot step." Note that it doesn't say you have to be able to make that attack, nor do you need to threaten the target. When someone provokes an attack from you, they give you the chance to take that AoO. Defensive Rebuke lets that provoke happen even if they're outside your threatened area. You then trade that chance (which is useless to you) for a 5' step.

I also spotted Fade into Violence which might have been useful with Defensive Rebuke (enemy strikes at you, Fade diverts to an ally - who probably benefits from Iron Guard's Glare - and Defensive Rebuke is triggered) but it seems far too limited.


It is kind of limited, but there are a few other, less-limited ways to get this same result. Take a look at the Evasion Tank - Manticore Parry, Scorpion Parry, and Elusive Target: Redirect Attack all can trigger Defensive Rebuke's AoOs as well. There's just a lot of swift-action competition on that build, so you don't see it quite as much.

Also, Karmit/Robilar's + Evasive to set up things like flanks sounds like fun, though Island of Blades does make that somewhat redundant.


You'd think so, but I think you'll be surprised with what we've found...

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Oh, I'm sure Robilar's + Evasive could be useful, but my first thought was to use it (or Karmic) to avoid hits completely by 5ft-stepping out of range whenever you're attacked. It's probably a good thing that doesn't work, however.

I think there are plenty of other fun things you could do with that free movement, like Child of Shadow (? - the one which gives you concealment if you move) or Desert Wind Dodge (not amazing but it's the first that springs to mind). Scout is probably the most obvious and potentially the best, though.

However, I'm not sold on Defensive and Evasive working together from range. Firstly, most things which say they provoke AoOs don't mention explicitly that they only do so from those threatening you. By this logic, Evasive would trigger if someone across the battlefield (or the world) started casting a spell. You could easily break the sound barrier this way. Secondly, I don't think you "have a chance to make an AoO" if you can't actually make an AoO. That wording is even less favourable than if it just said "when they provoke an AoO" or similar. Thirdly, even though the RAW is perhaps not explicit, I'd say the RAI are clearly not for this to work, and I don't think I could ever get it past a DM even if they allowed Defensive to work in the first place.

This could be a pretty cool combo to use in melee, but unfortunately it seems a tad... dubious... at best, when used at range (unless you, say, carry a kusari-gama in your off-hand...). 
Casting in melee provokes an AOO, not just casting at all. Same with ranged attacks (normally). You'd never break the sound barrier because even if you went with we'll say Psychic Weapon Master to get 1+Dex+Wis AOO's per round and maxed out those stats you'd still be limited to about 20 AOO's a round tops.
However, I'm not sold on Defensive and Evasive working together from range. Firstly, most things which say they provoke AoOs don't mention explicitly that they only do so from those threatening you. By this logic, Evasive would trigger if someone across the battlefield (or the world) started casting a spell.


I concur broadly with your post but would like to raise an issue with this part.

Casting a spell does provoke - but using the normal provoke rules. The only time that distracting activities (spellcasting, ranged attacks, etc) provoke AoOs is if you use them while threatened, so an unthreatened caster doesn't actually provoke. Evasive Reflexes, however, removes the "while threatened" requirement - the only thing needed for a provoke is if the rebuked enemy makes a melee attack against someone other than you. Not "makes a melee attack against someone other than you while you threaten him" or similar text (text which does appear on the standard AoO rules regarding spellcasting, ranged attacks, etc.).

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

OK, that was exaggeration for effect, which we probably all know is a bad idea.

There are however mentions of AoOs in the descriptions of actions which aren't so specific. Bull Rush: "The defender provokes AoOs if he is moved. So do you, if you move with him". Grapple: "You provoke an AoO from the target you are trying to grapple." Even if he's unarmed? And so forth. Could you Bull Rush someone to trigger your own Evasive Reflexes? That would be cool, but really probably not legal.

Besides, the point is that if they didn't include mention of the threatened area, it's because they thought it a given that AoOs can only be provoked against foes who threaten you. OK, they were lax in letting it be used by ranged attacks in the first place, but that aside, it's arguable that attacking someone under Defensive Rebuke is itself one of the "distracting actions" which require you to be in a threatened area. Regardless, when the RAW is unclear, I think one has to go with the RAI which is - unfortunately - for this not to work (at least, not quite as used, with ranged weapons from such a range - it could still be awesome with a reach weapon, say).
Of course, if any given DM will allow it, then go for it!
You stopped AS IF you had used up your move actions. You did not actually use up all your move actions IF YOU HAVE A SECOND MOVE ACTION available from something like Hustle - or even trading your standard action to do so.  You can then spend the second move action to attempt to move your speed again.

Even if you were stopped by Stand Still and could no longer move (due to your movement from move actions effectively being used up), manifesting hustle afterwards would give you an additional action that wasn't used up since you didn't have it at the time you were struck by Stand Still.

Stand Still could cancel the movement from hustle if you'd already manifested the power, but manifesting it after already being stopped gives you an action that hasn't been effectively used up.

I'm not sure I agree with this. I don't think the order of operations matters at all - because Stand Still doesn't actually remove all movement. It simply stops your current movement "as if" you had used up your move actions. You still have those actions available, and Stand Still does nothing to affect future movement, regardless of what actions you have available.

For instance, again, I can spend my move action on Order Forged from Chaos. I still have a swift and standard available, but now I have used up my move actions. Nothing is stopping me from trading my standard action for a move action and moving my speed, or spending my swift action on Hustle (well, assuming you have access to both that and high-level maneuvers... nitpick aside) and using that bonus move action to move my speed.

I don't see any difference between that scenario and one where, instead of Order Forged from Chaos, I moved my speed and was smacked with Stand Still before I left the first square - I stop "as if" I had used up my move actions. From there, I still have ways of getting extra move actions - some magical, some mundane.)

Apart from the slightly clumsy wording of Stand Still talking about move actions which only exist in potential, it describes move actions as a plural, indicating that it can stop movement from more than one move action at once.  Since actions don't explicitly have a set form per round (some rounds you might use a single full-round action, in others you might use a standard action and a move action, and so on), it can only be referring to your potential use of move actions.  The plural also couldn't be referring to any earlier move actions, since any move action before your current movement would already be completed, so it must refer to both current and future move actions.

I don't think it can stop move actions that you don't even have yet (for example, the possibility exists that you might not manifest hustle later, so preventing it would be something of a paradox), but it appears entirely capable of shutting down your current allocation of movement.  I would guess that this is also how it's supposed to stop charging, which doesn't use move actions at all, but which would be impossible to perform if you were denied the movement of potential move actions.

If Stand Still were literally restricted to stopping movement from your current move action, it wouldn't be of any use in stopping a character using the run, charge, or withdraw actions.  As I indicated before, though, I'm not terribly fond of the feat's wording.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
I've gotta say I concur with Slagger's interperitation on this.
If Stand Still were literally restricted to stopping movement from your current move action, it wouldn't be of any use in stopping a character using the run, charge, or withdraw actions.  As I indicated before, though, I'm not terribly fond of the feat's wording.


I'm not overly fond of its wording either.

I've seen you take feats you don't like and rework them in other threads; I'm curious what your wording would be (given how the intended effect is pretty clear - an AoO due to movement should end that movement).

I don't think there's a problem with its resolution mechanic either (no-damage, but roll damage and use as Reflex DC).

For what it's worth, my take would be "Or immediately stop moving. He cannot make further movement this turn unless he spends the actions to do so (which may provoke another Stand Still from you)."

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Just a few things, one I absolutley love this build to the point I've been toying around with a couple of my own now, secondly I had never heard of kenku or seen anyone in my group use the kenku before, finally I think I'm gonna go in for something completely different, I really want to see the other 2 but the mystery of something different intrigues me
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